But, do not take this for granted. All it takes is a difficult situation in life or being hurt by someone they trust for them to question or even turn away from their faith and then you will find you are the only ones who hand down the faith to your grandchildren. This is challenging as you try to be purposeful in handing down the faith while at the same time you experience the sadness which comes as you watch your grown children miss out on the joy of handing down faith and walking closely with God.
If you find yourself in this place, there are three important things for you to do . . .
- First, make prayer the bedrock of what you do. Pray for your son/daughter/in-law to be drawn back to God. Pray for them to have new, tender hearts, so they will want to love and walk with God once again. Pray for your grandchildren to have hearts and minds which are protected - pray they will love God with their all. Pray for yourself as you walk this road - for wisdom as you interact with your son/daughter/in-laws and for strength to hand down the faith on purpose.
- Second, do all you are able to do to help your church be effective in it's Children's Ministry. This one is difficult. Many churches think their Children's Ministry is great - and some are, but far too many do not represent Jesus accurately to children. By this I mean they make Jesus out to be boring and end up leaving children where they do not want to be at church. Jesus was not boring. While the Bible does not say; "And He was not boring", it does tell us children wanted to be around Him and we know children do not like to be around boring people. If the Children's Ministry is boring, it will make it more difficult for you to get your grandchildren to go to church. If the Children's Ministry knows how to engage children, so they have their attention and teach so children remember and learn, then your grandchildren are more likely to want to go to church. Of course, we want our grandchildren to want to go to church, so definitely pray for your church's leadership. Pray for them to have open eyes which see how they are able to engage children effectively and the heart to make any necessary changes. If your church does not make these changes, then you will have to do all you are able to do to show your grandchildren how Jesus was not boring. Find ways to engage them as you teach them about Jesus and what the Bible tells them about loving and following God. (Most Wednesdays I'll post activities you could use to engage your grandchildren while teaching them.)
- Third, find support and encouragement for yourself. It is a big job to hand down the faith - especially if you are doing it on your own without the support of your grandchildren's parents and the Children's Ministry at your church. But, handing down the faith is one of the most important things you will ever do - it is worth the time and work you invest in it.